Up Close with Tomi Narbondo

Photo by @topz.pe


Up Close with Tomi Narbondo

Let’s begin with Tomi the musician. You debuted in 2015 in a cumbia pop group called Rombai. In 2017 you joined Dame5 as a drummer. Anything you’d like to share about those early days?

I never prepared to be a professional musician. However, this experience has allowed me to create my own songs and capture people’s hearts. It’s incredible how music has changed my life, allowing me to connect with people –the most beautiful thing of all. I’ve met so many partners who I’m working with, to this day, and built friendships that have endured. The feeling you have when you’re on stage is indescribable; hearing people cheer for your name is just… amazing.

When did you go ’solo’? And how would you define your music? 

Before the pandemic, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. And unfortunately, during the lockdown, our band wasn’t able to perform. On the other hand, this period boosted my creativity and imagination so, with a lot of free time on my hands, I decided to channel my emotions by writing songs. It was a form of catharsis, allowing me to express my experience with depression. That first song proved I needed to believe in me, in order to write great music. I found solace in the process of composing music and began writing songs about various aspects of my life that mirrored the challenges faced by others. I also used music to address common daily experiences and make people identify and feel represented in each song. In a way, each of them became a reflection of my own life. I would describe my music as joyful, romantic, and pop, with influences from Uruguayan cumbia.


Your latest album is “Aventura.” What can you tell us about it?

“Aventura” is a love story, but not just any love story—it’s an adventure. It all began when I went to Peru for just a month and, during that time, I met a beautiful, very famous girl. Our love story unfolded unexpectedly, and everything we did together was kept secret because of the media in Peru: she had just broken up with her ex-boyfriend. I never imagined that this story would mark such an incredible turn and make me leave home to start a new life together. I actually thought it was just going to be an “adventure”. That’s the real story behind “Aventura,” the title of my album. We released the video and the song on the same day, capturing the essence of our journey together.

Then there’s the popular content creator on Instagram (303K followers) and TikTok (489K followers): what is it that fans enjoy most about your posts and what is it you enjoy sharing with them?

I do have a close relationship with my fans, they enjoy following my love story and listening to my music. It’s a platform where I can showcase my talent and spread the message that love is essential in this world.

Photo by @topz.pe

Let’s talk about your physical transformation over the years. What is your daily routine to maintain this incredible physique of yours?

Well, I’ve always been a sporty guy, I have played football since I was a kid. I started working out at the gym, because I couldn’t play football anymore: the tours I made as an artist kept me on the road. What you see on social media is the result of years of perseverance, dedication and consistency. Everyone is capable of doing the same things I did, there is no secret. Although I am now certified as a personal trainer, I began this journey with all the free information out there on the internet. However, life taught me to take care of my mental health; that is what determines your future. Whatever you do, you must be patient and believe in yourself. You won’t always be motivated, but if you’re determined and stay committed to your goal, your hard work will eventually pay off.

You mentioned your girlfriend. I suppose you consider yourself the romantic type?

I wrote some songs for my girlfriend, and to celebrate our first anniversary, I took her to my country to introduce her to my culture, my family, and my friends. I am a romantic man, I send flowers and gifts when we’re not together but I don’t want to come across as ‘prince charming’ in this interview. I keep it real, and I always strive to be transparent and honest. I want people to see my true self.


You’ll represent Uruguay at the upcoming Mister Universe pageant. Do you happen to know any of the other contestants? What does it mean to you, and to your country, if you were to win the title?

While I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting the other contestants or learning about them individually, I am looking forward to the opportunity. I am sure that each of us will bring unique qualities and experiences to the pageant. Can’t wait to engage with them and learn from their perspectives. We’re a small country: a win for Uruguay would be a moment of amazing recognition on the global stage, showing off our rich culture and the spirit of our people. As for me, being chosen would be the culmination of years of dedication, resilience and hard work. I’ll work harder than ever to make a difference in this world.

What’s next for Tomi and where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 

I see myself working internationally in the music and entertainment industry as an actor, model, singer and presenter… the complete package.  I would love to be remembered as the first Mister Universe winner of this new era, and to become a role model, encouraging people to pursue their dreams.

Instagram: @tominarbondo